Vast desert landscapes, sun-washed beaches, grand bazaars and striking shrines form the backdrop to the exotic worlds of India and Africa. Princess Cruises' 2011-12 Exotic cruise season will offer passengers a selection of voyages featuring these distinctive destinations, including a sailing along the coast of West Africa. In total, four extended cruises offer the opportunity to visit 38 intriguing ports.

Home to a variety of vibrant cultures and the world's most unique array of fascinating wildlife, African ports delight adventurous passengers. India contrasts with the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan cities and the more spiritual atmosphere surrounding architectural treasures such as the iconic Taj Majal.

Voyages including Africa or India offer the opportunity for a multi-continent adventure, featuring ports in Europe and Asia as well. Ranging from 28 to 46 days, these extensive sailings feature either the intimate ambiance of Ocean Princess or the Aussie-style cruising of Sun Princess, which sails round-trip from Perth.

"Africa and India are filled with the magnificent sights so many of us dream about visiting," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "Open spaces filled with roaming wildlife, colorful civilizations and rich history never fail to capture the imagination in these exotic ports. Princess pioneered cruising in many of these locales, and we continue to offer our expertise to passengers looking for an exciting adventure in these destinations."

India brings to mind the vibrant world of Bollywood movies and spicy atmosphere. Cosmopolitan Mumbai is a gateway for travel to the Taj Mahal, the famed monument of pearlescent stones that stands as a testament to eternal love. Passengers may also visit the coconut palm-lined beaches in Cochin, a historic port town where colonial architecture display the rich cultures that influenced the city. In Goa, travelers can explore the quaint village of Old Goa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Princess' unique West Africa Adventure itinerary offers passengers the opportunity to explore the continent's intriguing coastline. The Namibian ports Lüderitz and Walvis Bay boast historic German imperial style buildings and are a bird-lover's paradise, hosting thousands of flamingos, penguins, and ostriches. Mysterious voodoo presentations and grand markets pepper Lomé, Togo with rich African flair. Known for its "teranga" (hospitality), Dakar, Senegal features natural wonders such as Lake Retba, named for its rose-pink colored waters.

In South Africa, Cape Town offers sand, surf, wineries, and stunning views of Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope. Port Elizabeth provides opportunities to encounter wildlife with nearby game reserves and national parks set on vast savannas. In Durban, vibrant flowers, sweet smells of spices, and cultural encounters with the fabled Zulu tribe offer a true sense of modern Africa.

Northern Africa features the pyramids and other archeological treasure of Egypt, where visitors can see many of the country's iconic attraction when ships call at Safaga for Luxor and Karnak. Legendary Casablanca blends African, French, and Middle Eastern influences, particularly in dazzling bazaars filled with rich fabrics and antique ware.

Africa and India cruises:

Mediterranean, India & Asia – For a three-continent adventure, passengers can sail on a 28-day voyage from Rome to Singapore aboard Ocean Princess. The small ship will take cruisers to Sorrento, Athens, and Kusadasi (for Ephesus) before transiting the Suez Canal and continuing on to Sharm El Sheik, Aqaba (for Petra) Safaga (for Luxor/Karnak), Dubai, Muscat, Mumbai, Cochin, and Kuala Lumpur. Ocean Princess departs on October 15, 2011.

West Africa Adventure – A unique opportunity to explore the African coast, this 28-day journey onboard the small ship Ocean Princess travels from Cape Town to London (Dover). Travelers can explore a variety of African destinations plus and European ports beginning with a overnight stay in Cape Town. Calls include the Namibian ports of Lüderitz and Walvis Bay, Cotonou (Benin), Lomé (Togo), Tema (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal), Cape Verde Islands, Canary Islands, Casablanca, Seville, Lisbon, and Paris/Normandy before arriving in Dover. The sailing departs on May 6, 2012.

Africa, India & Southeast Asia – The intimate Ocean Princess also offers a 30-day journey from Singapore to Cape Town. Passengers can enjoy the small ship experience on an itinerary to Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Maldives, Mumbai, Muscat, Dubai, Mauritius, Reunion Island, Durban, and East London, plus an overnight call in Cape Town. Travelers have the option to visit the Taj Mahal in India or take a safari to Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa. The sailing departs on April 6, 2012 and can be combined with the West Africa Adventure for a 58 day Grand Adventure cruise from Singapore to Dover.

South Africa & Indian Ocean Odyssey – On a 46-day roundtrip sailing from Perth, travelers cover several continents during their voyage. Sun Princess will call at Asian ports such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Phuket, then move on to India with visits to Mumbai, Goa, and the Maldives. After crossing the Equator, the ship visits the Seychelles, and the South African ports of Richard's Bay, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Durban. The ship calls at Reunion Island and Mauritius before returning to Perth. Sun Princess departs on May 3, 2011.